So the other day I was reading an article online about Bratz Dolls (my daughter has one and the headline–Are Bratz Dolls Too Sexy?–caught my attention!). I’ve heard most of these observations about the Bratz dolls in other places before now, so it was a quote about the American Girl dolls and accessories, on page 2 of the article, that I found most interesting.
American Girl recently introduced a line of bath and body products for little girls (ages 8 and up). Sharon Lamb, one of the authors quoted in this article, says that selling lotion with these dolls “sends a message…telling girls that lotion is something they need. ‘And girls don’t need to be self-conscious about needing soft skin at 7 years old,’ says Lamb” (a psychology professor and author of Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers’ Schemes).
My daughter is almost 9, right in the “tween” age group that would be using these products and, I guess, buying into their “marketing messages.” She also gets dry skin sometimes, which I’ve treated by giving her lotion. I really thought, on several occasions, that she needed lotion! What I’m puzzled by is the idea that encouraging my child to use a certain kind of product to take care of her skin is sending a “sexual message” to her. Do girls need lotion? Sometimes, yes! Does anyone else wonder what’s going on here??